Posts Tagged ‘female pattern alopecia’

Going to Any Length for Our Hair

Give me a head with hair, long beautiful hair
Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen
Give me down to there, hair, shoulder length or longer, hair, here baby, there, momma, everywhere, daddy, daddy—hair, flow it, show it, long as God can grow, my hair

From the musical “Hair” – 1967  

 

Going to Any Length for Our Hair

We love our hair!  We spend billions of dollars every year – cutting, styling and coloring, curling and straightening – and even more on shampoos, conditioners, rinses, sprays and other products that enhance shine, texture and thickness.

 

A beautiful head of hair helps reflect a healthy and “put together” look as well as presenting a fresh, more youthful appearance.  A great cut and style on men or women is a confidence builder, representing a sharp image, and communicates  “I take care of myself and I am putting my best foot forward”.   We value a “good hair day” and hair serves as a frame for our face both in our personal and professional interactions.

 

Historically, hair has been prized throughout the world. In ancient history, hair and elaborate wigs were signs of status and wealth. Lush hair was associated with royalty and good fortune. Cleoptra’s mane was famous as was Sampson’s hair; associated with inordinate strength. In Colonial times, the upper class wore white curly wigs and leaders wore them as a sign of intelligence and stature.  Hair was, and is still a powerful symbol and we go to great lengths to present our hair in its best form.

 

Both men and women experience changes with age and/or medical conditions that impact hair density, texture and volume.  There are roughly ten principal causes of thinning hair, or hair loss and it is important that a physician or other licensed clinician be involved with understanding and diagnosing the source of notable changes in your hair.

 

Genetics

Male pattern baldness (MPB) is inherited from the mother’s side of the family whereas genetically based hair loss in women called “female pattern alopecia” can come from either side of the family.  It should be noted that both men and women typically experience a reduction in hair volume with age, and how and when that progresses varies by individual.

 

Medications

Various medications for diabetes, cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease can create some level of hair loss, yet not everyone experiences this as a side effect. Talk to your prescriber about how a particular medication may affect your hair.

 

Alopecia

Alopecia areata, (not to be confused with genetically caused alopecia) is an auto-immune disease that can cause spotty hair loss or total baldness. A relatively understudied condition, new interventions are on the horizon to treat the troubling outcome of alopecia areata.

 

Traction Alopecia  (tightly pulled hair)

Hairstyles that pull the hair tightly including pony tails, braids, corn rows or other styles can cause hair loss particularly at the hairline.  Styles that put a lot of tension on hair can be avoided, and therefore preventing this type of hair loss.

 

Chemotherapy

As if cancer treatment is not stressful enough, hair loss from certain – not all chemotherapy agents really adds to the concern for patients.  In most cases, the hair will re-grow.  Patients often report experiencing a new texture or wave once their hair regrows.

 

Vitamin/Mineral Deficiencies

Hair thinning and loss can occur in certain cases of malnutrition and may be treated with iron or B-complex supplements.  A healthy diet including lean red meat, chicken, fish, beans and leafy greens can contribute to a healthy head of hair.  

 

Hypothyroidism

Underproduction of key hormones that regulate metabolism can cause changes in hair volume and patchy hair loss. Your physician can easily test for thyroid levels as a part of ruling out thyroid as the cause for hair thinning or extensive loss.

 

Hypotrichosis

This condition causes a patchy hair loss pattern and is typically associated with more rare conditions such as “Hallermann – Streiff” syndrome.

 

Ringworm

Ringworm of the scalp is a fungal infection in the hair shaft that generally occurs in 3 to 9 year olds and is highly contagious.  No longer a common occurrence – ringworm is treated with anti-fungal medications.

 

Trichotillomania

This condition is associated with obsessive/compulsive disorder (OCD) and is defined by an individual who picks, scratches and pulls at their hair.  If untreated, this disorder can cause baldness and scarring.

 

Anyone experiencing noticeable hair thinning and hair loss should see their physician or other licensed clinician to determine the cause, and obtain a professional recommendation for treatment and prevention of continued loss where possible. The good news is that there are exciting and effective solutions for restoring and maintaining healthy hair for both men and women.  Several approaches for thinning hair or hair loss are available today when the aging process or medical conditions create new challenges, and compromise the quality of your hair’s appearance.

 

Self Care for Thinning Hair

James Gartner, owner of Bii Salon in Dundee offers a number of tips for those experiencing a condition that results in thinning hair.  James recommends a gentle, chemical free shampoo free of sulfates and other additives. He also recommends air-drying hair when possible and minimizing styles that put tension on, or pull the hair tightly.  James says “there is no substitute for maintaining a great hair cut and a flattering style that reflects the best look for thinning hair.  Long thinning hair can look even thinner, and getting “weight” off of the style can really help.  We have had many clients who suffer from the effects of chemotherapy and other conditions that affect their hair.  We offer a compassionate approach that makes the absolute best of what can be a very stressful time for our clients. We enjoy helping to support them to feel better and work with what they are facing as changes occur.  We encourage anyone who is reluctant to go to the salon by assuring them that they will feel comfortable with our professional stylists.”

 

Over the Counter Hair Products for Thin Hair

There are some over the counter products that James recommends for thinning hair or hair that is re-growing.  James likes the Awaken line by Surface that is designed to preserve hair thickness and add fullness and texture to the hair strands. He especially likes the Awaken Therapeutic Treatment that is applied to the scalp before styling.

 

A Great Wig – Quality Has Never Been Better!

If hair loss is extensive or slow to regrow – a great wig is a terrific option today as the quality and style choices have never been better. Both natural hair and synthetic wig styles are endless, and can make a really important difference in our customer’s self image.  Ashly from Lulu’s Wiggin Out in Crystal Lake shares “we love working with our clients to select a perfect style and color that looks natural and complements skin tone and face shape.  We have a great deal of experience with individuals during very stressful times in their life due to cancer and other medical conditions, and we are focused on making the wig selection process and end result very positive, and pleasing to our customers. Our product line is extensive, and our clients  typically leave delighted with their choice.” We love our business because we know we make an important difference in how people feel about their appearance!

 

Medical Intervention

No longer is restoration of hair loss limited to men only! With most of us living longer, hair loss is not unusual. While certain males find complete balding or thinning areas on their scalp stressful or even devastating, women are, and never have been any less affected. The good news is that the latest treatments are effective for everyone.  It’s a great day when medical solutions have a wonderful impact on self-esteem and quality of life. Today specialty medical offices can offer hair restoration therapy, hair transplantation or scalp micro-pigmentation all of which are tailored to the specific needs of the client. There are multiple providers for these procedures which typically begin with a thorough interview and assessment to determine which approach if any, are appropriate given the reasons for the client’s hair loss.  

 

Innovative Medical Procedures – Hair Restoration – Safe and Permanent

 

PRP – Hair Restoration Therapy

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is a treatment that involves localized injections of platelet rich plasma which contains a growth factor that stimulates the hair follicles.  Most patients get results from 3-6 treatments, eight weeks apart, and then a follow up maintenance treatment every 9-12 months following initial therapy.  Dr. Nader Aziz from Regency Medical Spa offers PRP treatments to his patients and also uses a complementary product line (Glytone by Ducray) of hair care products that include shampoo, lotion and a supplement to help support their treatment plan. Ideal candidates for PRP are those just beginning to notice hair loss and are wanting to preserve hair density and prevent further loss.  

 

Hair Transplantation

 

Hair transplantation and other approaches for thinning hair and hair loss have come a very long way in terms of process and results. CSO Aesthetics in Arlington Heights offers a personalized consultation for each client to determine which treatment is appropriate and most effective for each individual’s hair health. Dr. Cynthia Valukas from CSO Aesthetics shares one of their strategies for hair loss that is a minimally invasive, no scar hair transplantation method called Neograft®. “The Neograft® system uses something called Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) where we gently remove individual follicles from the back of the head and then artistically implant them in areas where hair loss has occurred.  There is no scaring, less downtime and the results create a very natural looking hairline. We are so pleased to be able to offer procedures for hair restoration that literally changes our patient’s lives. Both men and women are ecstatic with their results and so happy they made the investment of time and resources in addressing their hair loss.”  

 

This procedure is actually medical grade tattooing that mimics the growth pattern of your hair. A semi-permanent solution, micro pigmentation is a non-surgical procedure with no down time and one that provides immediate results.  This procedure is an option for all stages of hair loss, and is optimal for the correction of scars.  Micro pigmentation results in a natural appearance and is appropriate for both men and women.  

 

If you are experiencing changes in your hair there is good news in that there are multiple solutions that restore and enhance your hair and address what can have a big impact on your image and self esteem. Whether it’s topical products, a great stylist, a quality wig or the available and improving innovation in medical procedures, there are many options to address thinning hair or hair loss.  

 

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